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History Club and News

Please note, all upcoming library programs thru April 6th have been cancelled out of an abundance of caution during the current Corona Virus pandemic. For additional information, please contact the library, 608-375-5723. Stay well everyone and remember: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Stay calm and wash your hands. 👩‍🔬👨‍🔬


Thursday, March 19th, at 6:30, Special Guest Michael Douglass
 "Fur Trade History and  Re-Enactment!"

 Mark your calendars: Boscobel Public Library History Club and the Grant County Historical Society will be co-hosting a history talk by Michael Douglass, the former director of Villa Louis Historic Site in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Douglass actively engages in interpreting the early 19th-century Great Lakes Fur Trade. In this talk, Douglass will explain the "What," "Why," and "How" of fur trade reenactment. Join us for an evening exploring this exciting period in Wisconsin history. This program is free and open to the public!

History Club News 

At the Feb 6th meeting, everyone was encouraged to bring or to write down something about what you feel are important events in Boscobel History. At the last club meeting, Larry Larson mentioned his concern that many of the outstanding historical events that have occurred in Boscobel are in danger being forgotten; we need to remember and gather our town's unique history- and its place in state history-- to share and preserve.
Among the events mentioned at the last meeting were Boscobel's importance as a 19th century transportation hub, and embarkation point for Civil War troops. The Boscobel Fairground and racetrack, one of the best in the state that for decades drew people from far and wide to this city. Senator and later Governor John Blaine's remarkable history, including his repeal Act of 1933 that ended Prohibition, and his work against the Klu-Klux-Klan's presence in Wisconsin John and Jackie Kennedy's visit to the Boscobel Hotel or the Gideon Bible foundation story are often recounted, but what of the Boscobel sheriff's armed main street showdown with KKK marchers? And Blaine's subsequent pardon? The big Ruka Brothers factory fire? Who remembers the fun and entertainment of main street Friday nights, or Maxwell Street Days?
Boscobel's history is chock-a-block with stories, events and characters that deserve to be recollected and preserved, so history club is asking for stories and opinions from everyone in our community: what do you think are the most important moments in Boscobel history??
Robin, the library director, has been wondering aloud to whoever will listen (😁) about why, instead of focusing on re-enacting war histories, or medieval history (both very worthy and exciting of course, we love all history and salute our veterans!), our community doesn't re-enact it's own history?? Imagine a summer day or weekend dedicated to a Boscobel Fair and Re-Enactment: seeing the Ruka brothers build a wagon. Or Governor Blaine declare the end of Prohibition. A mock up at the boat landing of the 18th century river ferry that crossed the Wisconsin at Boscobel. John and Jackie emerging from the Central House ; visiting Gideon's re-enacting the first meeting there. Adding imagination to history creates fun theater and entertainment, an attraction for residents and visitors alike, unique to Boscobel. The city of LaCross in conjunction with their library and other community sponsors hosts the "Dark LaCrosse" history show https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/2019-dark-la-crosse-show/ , Footsteps of LaCrosse history tours and Pearl Street days that generate business, foot traffic and that create a unique marketing “brand” for their city that can’t be duplicated elsewhere. Just some thoughts for tonight’s meeting, hope to see everyone there!

History Club meets the first Thursday of every month,6:30-8:00 pm in the downstairs clubroom of the library. Everyone is welcome to visit and join in the discussion, there is no charge.

For updates and additional Library History Club and Archive information, please follow our page on Facebook: @boscolibraryhistoryclub.

The current local history resources of the library includes the following:

General Boscobel history publications and microfilm of the Boscobel Dial and its predecessors going back to 1863 are available on demand at the main library circulation desk.

The downstairs history room archive and special collection items such as the Karsten Obituary Index and Ruka Centennial Photo Collection can be accessed by appointment.  Please contact the library staff at (608) 375-5723 for additional information.

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